2003 army Times
Honorable Mentions

Sergeant First Class Tommy Carson

D29th Signal Battalion, Ft. Lewis

Some soldiers are willing to give so much for so little in return. The Fort Lewis community of Tacoma, WA, is truly lucky to have a soldier like SFC Tommy Lee Carson who is willing to contribute so much to its welfare. “SFC Carson is a worthy role model, not only for the uniformed personnel here, but also for the citizens of our community,” said the chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. “He never asks to be in the limelight, yet is the first to volunteer,” says his senior NCO.

On base, he is the leader behind the annual Fort Lewis Golf Tournament, which raised $10,000 to benefit families in the community during Thanksgiving and Christmas. “His selfless service really stands out,” says his commander. “He leads battalion efforts to get soldiers to volunteer in the community, and leads this task by example.” SFC Carson created his battalions’ community partnership with the local Veterans hospital, providing volunteers to work with the hospital and patients. At both the Washington State Soldiers Home and the Olympia Manor Senior Citizens Home, he volunteers to organize and conduct recreational activities. He also gives his time to the Fort Lewis Hospitality Committee and at the Fort Lewis Thrift Store. He spent over 200 hours helping to clean his local church and provide holiday services to the needy. When the local community high school needed a golf coach, SFC Carson stepped forward.

“SFC Carson is driven to give something back to others,” says his senior NCO. “He makes a difference everyday. His broad involvement in community service reflects how his life evolves around helping other people.” SFC Tommy Lee Carson is a fine example of the high personal quality of those serving in the United States Army.

Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Persinger

302nd Military Police Company

SSG Persinger is a strong leader dedicated to using his years of military experience to making reserve soldiers and local policemen better. As an Army reservist and a police officer with the Lewisville, Texas Police Department, SSG Persinger goes out of his way to share and teach others. “He is passionate about being a soldier and excels at everything he does,” says a unit commander. With 13 years of active duty experience and 17 years overall in the military, SSG Persinger is “a role model who inspires others to do their best,” says one member of his unit.

One unit officer noted, “because he leads by example, SSG Persinger is in a unique position to prepare other soldiers for mobilization. He has special concern for his soldiers, both as a trainer and as a counselor.” SSG Persinger is currently deployed in the Middle East, and has served as a military policeman in both Bosnia and Somalia. “He took superb care of his soldiers, returning his unit safe and sound - and while this might seem fairly routine, he succeeded within particularly dangerous and perilous environments,” said a former commander. “Because of his experience, dedication and maturity, he is sought out to handle the most difficult projects and mentor young reservists. He always takes the challenge, the big jobs and responsibility without question.” For his overall efforts, SSG Persinger was named the 90th Regional Support Group NCO of the Year after a rigorous selection process at the company and battalion level. And, at the next higher command level that oversees 16,000+ soldiers from five states, he was the 90th Regional Support Command’s runner-up.